29 January 2012

Hot shots

A hot day for a walk even though we started early. We left the Land Rover at Wolfkop parking and went in the boot of Sue's car to the start of the walk at St James. Sue had brought a Norwegian mathematician called Jorinde too, and Thea was waiting for us at St James. Here we all are dawdling on Boyes Drive. This grasshopper was rather too hot to move - I think it was seeing stripes.
A patch of the Kalk Bay hillside had recently burned - making it seem even hotter.
Not much else about - just a feather.
But we were soon back in the fynbos - these are Tooth-leaved Powderpuff (Pseudoselago serrata) flowers.
Me sitting in Joridne's and Sue's shadow - every little piece of shade was most welcome.
A pretty little Pelargonium longifolium braving the heat - growing in a rocky crevice.
I wished I could fit into a shady crevice. All I could do was grab what little shade I could find. This is our obligatory stop under Sam-the-lavatorydoor's Mimetes tree on the Mimetes Valley path.
A hot Peninsula Silkypuff (Diastella divaricata), a miniature protea.
It was quite tricky walking under Thea's umbrella,
but I did so welcome the shade.
We made it to Nellie's Pool with its life-affirming eau de vie and I had a swim. I had not bargained on getting in so deep, but it did cool me down a bit. There were some nice trees to have tea under, and Dougal managed to get some mouse-hunting in too.
A little erica, possibly Erica obliqua, was also enjoying the shade next to the deep, cool eau de vie in Nellie's Pool.
Then the whole world arrived ...
and his dog! This Airedale was very well camouflaged against the sandy soil here.
The long hot road home.
A fiery Lampranthus
Dried heads of old everlasting daisies were puffing out white seeds in the hot breeze.
More hot road back to the parking place,
but at last we were back at the cars, and after a drink we drove back to fetch the cars at St James.Then we were home in plenty of time to watch the tennis that went on, and on, and on and on and on, and ...

22 January 2012

Dams and damn politicians

This morning we were going to a protest but the humans changed their minds and said we would not enjoy it very much so we met up with Sue and went for a very short walk and a swim in misty Silvermine - using our smart new activity cards for dogs.
A pretty Aristea glauca.
Dawnie came too - and here she is tagging along in the Table Mountain Watsonias - Watsonia tabularis.
Then we got left behind with the Alph and Patrick the painter while the Food Lady, Jane and Simon went off to protest in Hout Bay agianst the government giving away bits of Table Mountain National Park to BIG BAD BUSINESS. Click here for some background.
There were lots of dogs and we were sorry we we had not been there to join in the fun.
Even Jack Russells!
And if I am not very much mistaken, is that not a scot?
And a Robbie, an Anthea and a Mike?
And Lucky's mom - Lynne too. What a party.
The Sentinel in the background. People listening to speeches - maybe this is where we might have been a bit bored,
but we could have found a patch of lawn to sit on in the "ugly quarry" that Robin Carlisle thinks will look a whole lot better with a dirty big office block in it.
Even a child can see its wrong.
Yes, we agree!

15 January 2012

Tripping up Trappieskop

Today the weather forecast said it was going to be fiercely hot so we decided to do a short walk in easy distance of the sea for cooling off in afterwards - and Pauline suggested a trip up Trappieskop. Alice and Maddie joined Paul and Pauline and us and our humans and we set off up the hill behind Fish Hoek. This is me checking out the route we had just come up from Clovelly. It was not very hot as the wind was blowing,
as you can see by the way Paul is hanging on to his hat! Looking over Fish Hoek, we could see Alice and Maddie's house in the far distance.
It is quite an exciting place up here - with caves, and funny dumpy trees called Tylecodon grandiflorus,
and turtle-like rock monster heads looming over us.Tea on Trappieskop: Alice, Maddie, the Alph (who was a bit cross with us because he got left behind and lost us for a few minutes, but unlike when I lag behind and get lost, no-one was cross with him!), Pauline and Paul, and us Scots in front.
Aloe commixta is one of the few aloes that grow on the Cape Peninsula, and it is also endemic to the peninsula, in fact only occurring from Fish Hoek to Slangkop. Here it is trying to grow very tall by climbing up one of the tree ericas, Erica tristis. The Sickleleaf Brightfig (Lampranthus falciformis), and more of the endemic Golden Spiderheads(Serruria villosa) to ooh and aah over.
Pretty soon it was time to head back down. We were disappointed not to see any baboon or dassies. In fact there was not much around,
apart from some spider's webs,a lacy-winged fly on a Pseudoselago serrata flower,
and of course, lots and lots of flowers, some with odd names like the Rough Gousblom (Arctotis aspera). "Arctotis" means "bear's ear" - because of the outer involucral bracts - but I am not sure I know what a bear's ear looks like.
Another gogga - looks like the nymph of a bug of sorts - on the seeds of Maytenus oleoides. It does look kind of tasty - the beetle that is.
Back on the well-made stone path that goes from Kalk Bay to Clovelly between Trappieskop and Cave Peak. We wondered if Pete Dewey - Belle's human - had finished his golf on the Clovelly golfcourse that you can see in the distance.

11 January 2012

Chilling at Daisy

(This is Dougal in film-documentary mood so he will narrate the blog - just this once! Hope he doesn't mess up.)
"Thank-you for your vote of confidence Oh Silly Scottie! I wont mess up. Just watch. Good morning Blog Readers. Last week we went to this beautiful place called Agulhas for a couple of days with our humans and the Alpha Male's sister who was visiting from New Zealand.
We stopped at our most favourite in all the world breakfast spot outside the metropolis of Napier (the birthplace of Matthew the Large)

and while the humans scoffed scrambled eggs and bacon and brie cheese, we were given some off-colour farm water to drink.
But the Food Lady took us for a little stroll around the farm which was greatly appreciated as there were some good piggy smells about.
At last we made it to our destination. Here is the view from Daisy. We like to keep an eye on the dogs on the beach from the balcony and occasionally shout at them. We had a wonderful time doing the usual exciting things:
Swimming in our most favourite spot - Papkuil. Someone once told us that it was the largest rock pool in the southern hemisphere. We like it because no sharks can get in.
Excavating for molerats.
Admiring the flora (although this is more a human activity). A Christmas Berry Bush or Dune Gonnabos in full fruit - just growing out of the dune sand. Its botanical name is Passerina ericoides.
Going for lovely walks along the beach - Soetanysberg in the distance.
Nicola taking a photo of Teddy at the southernmost tip of Africa, where the oceans meet.
The weather was perfect for a sunset campfire braai. Coco checking for cockroaches.
Here are your shoes, now will you hurry up and get walking!
Tails up in the dune scrub - hunting Four-striped Mice in the early morning. (Unsuccessfully I might add. These Rhabdomys pumilio mice are a lot sharper and quicker than house mice and rats!)
The Food Lady was hunting flowers as usual and found this lovely Silene crassifolia growing on the dune sand. It looks a bit like an Edelweiss flower.
There were hundreds and hundreds of these creepy crawlies on the pebbly beach which are actually air-breathing, kelp eating crustaceans (isopods) called Ligia dilatata.
Watching some kayakers and just chilling on the beach. A long trek over the limestone hill - not so nice for paws, although this Erica coccinea didn't seem to mind the harsh limestone.
Another sunset supper round the braai.
Taking opportunities to do some wee-mailing.
Pooped on the stoep - er sorry - relaxing on the veraandaahh."